Mariko Tamaki's Surely Books Debuts First LGBTQ+ Focused Graphic Novel – Screen Rant

Tamaki & Surely Books have curated an eclectic group of queer writers and artists to publish a wide fresh collection of LGBTQ+ focused graphic novels
More than two years ago now Abrams Books announced their new imprint of LGBTQ+ focused graphic novels, Surely Books, curated by the iconic Mariko Tamaki. Tamaki and Abrams made Surely Books with the express intention of bringing more queer creators and content into mainstream media, something that should be encouraged and celebrated by all. Originally intended to debut in Spring 2021, the first graphic novel Lifetime Passes is now being released this month, and is the first in a whole slew of upcoming LGBTQ+ focused graphic novels coming from Surely Books.
Mariko Tamaki is an Eisner-Award-winning writer who has long been viewed as a sensational creator bringing queer characters and content to the forefront of the comics industry. Tamaki is well known for SkimLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, This One Summer (illustrated by Mariko’s cousin Jillian Tamaki), and many other graphic novels, all of which emphasize honest portrayals of sexuality and LGBTQ+ identities. Starting in 2016 Tamaki began working for both DC and Marvel Comics, and has since made history, becoming the first female lead-writer for the DC Detective Comics.
Related: Marvel’s LGBTQ+ Characters Showcased in New Pride Special Preview
Surely Books full lineup of upcoming graphic novels has just recently been announced. This month will see the dark comedy Lifetime Passes written by Terry Blas and illustrated by Claudia Aguirre (November 23rd, 2021), followed by historical fiction Flung Out of Space written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Hannah Templer (February 15th, 2022), and then the supernatural M is for Monster by Talia Dutton (June 21st, 2022). Following this initial launch, Surely Books has also announced Homecoming by Kaitlin Chan, Mimosa by Archie Bongiovanni, The Page’s Guide to Being a Guy by Seth Smith, Washington’s Gay General written by Josh Trujillo and illustrated by Levi Hastings, and finally Grand Slam Romance with writer Oliva Hicks and illustrator Emma Oosterhous, which are all slated to debut between Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.
The very first title from Surely Books, darkly comedic Lifetime Passes, is sure to give readers a wild, queer ride (literally). The graphic novel is described as, “…a group of teens starts a program to bring senior citizens to a local theme park to take advantage of the unofficial park policy: If someone dies on the property, the rest of their party is given lifetime passes!” Lifetime Passes is written by Terry Blas, a Chicano queer author and illustrator known for Dead Weight, Hotel Dare, and Marvel’s current run of Reptil, while the graphic novel is illustrated by Claudia Aguirre, a Mexican queer comic book illustrator and writer who is the co-founder of Boudika Comics.
Mariko Tamaki has done a truly stellar job in curating Surely Books line-up of graphic novels because not only is every title queer-focused, but each one is also written and illustrated by queer creators. On top of this, Tamaki has made sure to feature a wide array of intersectional identities within its authors and illustrators, featuring BIPOC, Latinx, Asian, and genderqueer creators, moving away from the stereotypical middle-aged White American cisgender man who has embodied the comics industry for decades. Make sure to pick up the Mariko Tamaki-curated Surely Book’s first graphic novel Lifetime Passes when it debuts on November 23rd, and keep on supporting LGBTQ+ comic books creators.
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Alex Schlesinger is a freelance Comics News writer for Screen Rant. While his career is in social work, one of his biggest passions is reading and writing about comic books. While Alex loves to write about all things comics, the X-Men will always hold a special place in his heart. Alex lives in Seattle with his fiancé Zach and their two cats Jasper & Harley. When not writing Comics News he is cooking, baking, reading science fiction, and travelling around the Pacific Northwest.

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